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Posts Tagged ‘book signings’

Hey! Are you there? I know I haven’t posted for a while and thank you for not unfollowing my blog because of it.

Life happened.

On May 25th, I had surgery. The weeks leading up to it were full of taking care of things I wouldn’t be able to for a while afterward. Then, it was about recovery. Happy to say things are going really well! Still have a weight limit for lifting, and haven’t been cleared to start coffee again, but I can work with those.

In the weeks leading up to surgery, I had ideas for ‘Guarding Amber’ (the follow up to ‘Guarding Charon’). I just didn’t have the focus I needed. My mind went to a million little things that I’d not done for months (years?) that demanded my attention at last. Even if it only took 5 minutes or less to do. I was organizing our cd cabinet. Preparing the house for the oldest to come home for the summer from college. Heck, I even went out and edged/trimmed our yard.

This weekend, I came to the realization that everything was going to be fine. I’m healing well, not had any big issues, and that’s when it all clicked. I was finally ready to put the surgery, etc, in the past and move forward with life again.

Writing’s not something you can simply do, put aside, and get rich off of. It takes a lot of time to write a story, even more to get it edited and in shape for your publisher. Add to that the hours needed every single week to promote your books and it’s easy to see why a lot of people give up after just one book. Because you’re putting in the work with almost zero monetary payback for up to a decade.

But, if you DO put in the time and the work, then you might actually get that brass ring.

Speaking of brass rings….I grabbed one! I’m going to be doing a book signing at the Federal Way, WA Barnes & Noble on June 25th! If you live nearby, come by and say hello!

Internationally renowned

BB

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Well, last night was the big night. I’ve now got my first official book store signing under my belt.

Hold on a minute, I need more coffee. BRB

Much better. I’m way too tired today for my own good. LOL

So, last night. I sold three books, met a few readers, got ignored by more people than stopped by to even say hello. Which I expected, to be honest. I’m still an unknown. Not many people know that there’s an author out there named KateMarie Collins. I didn’t go into the evening imagining I’d have people waiting to buy my books, shake my hand, or I’d sell out. Did I dream that maybe that would happen? Sure. Every author does. But I knew better than to expect it.

SAM_1818

To me, events like this aren’t about selling books. They’re about connecting to one reader who hasn’t heard of you. It’s creating that base of readers who will stay loyal to your writing for decades. It’s about the meet and greet and approachability over the sales.

One of the books I signed was going to be a gift to an 11-12 year old girl who loves to read. Another went to someone whose own small business I’ve patronized (Frakking Bombs…they make the BEST bath bombs…seriously, go find them on Etsy!), who was kind enough to return the support.

One person I met is a rabid reader, but was only out for a short time and had no money. Me handing her postcards and business cards and spending five minutes talking with her may lead to sales down the road. I won’t know, unless she contacts me, but it’s a start.

And we all have to start somewhere.

BB

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Hey! It’s the afternoon, technically, but had a busy morning. LOL

I want to talk about the difference between being an author and being a diva. Trust me, you want to be an author far more than a diva.

We all make mistakes. Every one of us. We don’t read an email correctly, miss a word in a sentence, want to tweak a story one more time. You can be an adult about things, realize it’s time to let go of your story, and move on. Or you can throw a hissy fit, publicly denounce your publisher for not catering to your every whim and changing rules just for you, and hope someone sympathizes with you.

The adult author will grow, learn, and become respected. The diva? Not so much. People won’t want to work with someone who can’t take no for an answer. They don’t cater to untried authors. They won’t bend the rules if you don’t make them millions each year.

Being published isn’t about having the world recognize your ‘genius’. It’s not about having your ego stroked or throwing fits and lobbing threats when you don’t get your way. It’s about a partnership where everyone involved is trying to do the same thing – put out the best book they can – and working within the established rules.

It’s about give and take, not diva grandstanding. It’s about encouraging and nurturing the partnership, not tearing it apart because you didn’t get your way.

My book signing is this coming Sunday, the 8th. I’m not going to scream and threaten not to show up just because their policy is that the authors get a certain percentage. I’m not going to blame them if no one shows up. I’m not going to expect them to set up and tear down everything. Nor do I anticipate them having champagne out for me to drink for two hours.

It’s a partnership. I sell some books, make some money, get exposure, meet readers. They make money and give me space. They’re not going to treat me any differently than any other new author. Because that’s what I am. I’m not J. K. Rowling. I’m not Stephen King. I’m KateMarie Collins.

And most of the readers of the world still don’t know who that is.

BB

P.S. Don’t forget! 7-9 pm on Sunday, Nov. 8th at The Book Warehouse in The Outlet Collection in Auburn, WA!!!!

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Good morning! Hope all is well with everyone.

Now that the initial excitement of knowing I have a book signing in a bookstore has subsided, it’s time to consider everything else that has to happen in the next two weeks.

The books are ordered. New postcards, too! Everything’s been shipped to me and should be here with almost a week to spare.

I know what I’ll be wearing. The mall-wide event is meant to be rather classy/upscale, so out from the depths of my closet came my little black dress. It’s now all clean and ready to go. A friend will be stopping by later this week to help me decide on the jewelry. Hair and nails will wait until just beforehand. If I do those too early, it doesn’t look right that day. I know, I know. In this respect, I somewhat envy male authors. LOL.

Now is when I start thinking about all the small details. And begin to obsess over them. Do I want to put out a small dish of chocolates? Sprinkle snowflake confetti on the table? Is it better to use book stands and keep the other copies under the table or simply stack them on the table? Did I find the holiday themed table runner and put it in the box with the other display items? Not sure? Check for the third time that day.

On top of this, there’s the fear that every author who doesn’t have name recognition has. Will anyone even come talk to me? What if I don’t sell a single book? Will the store ever want me to come back?

Writing is all about taking risks. We take them in our stories. It happens when we submit to publishers. And we leap that chasm and hope to make it across with every single public appearance. For every ‘what if’ that’s negative, there’s a positive one.

What if no one buys a book – what if you sell out

What if no one talks to me – what if you’re voice goes out because of all the talking

What if they want ebooks – what if my sales skyrocket the next day

So, in the deep throes of panic, flip that coin over. Regardless of how many books I sell or people I meet, I’ve already won. Because I took the risk in the first place.

BB

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Every year, a mall (The Outlet Collection) in the area has an event called ‘The Magical Night of Giving’. They sell tickets (proceeds go to local non-profits) and the mall is open that evening just to those who have them. Stores offer up huge deals to kick off the holiday shopping season, there’s door prize drawings, etc. It’s a pretty big event.

This year, I’m going to be part of it.

From 7-9 pm, I’ll be meeting readers and signing books at The Book Warehouse inside the mall!!!

So, if you’re going to be any where near Auburn, WA on November 8th, consider buying a ticket and coming by to say hello!

Signed books make for GREAT holiday gifts!

BB

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Good morning!

It’s been an interesting week. Not in writing…didn’t do much of that. But in fighting a good fight. Moving beyond those who condemn a genre solely because of what they perceive it’s about.

I’m working on a signing event at a newly opened bookstore. Until recently, when it was bought out, it was a Christian book store. The new chain, which is open to all genres, retained the staff from the prior store. Corporate, I’ve been told by my contact, is behind me. They want the event to happen. The store’s manager doesn’t.

Why? They’re devoutly Evangelical Christian and think that the entire scifi/fantasy genre is ‘demonic’, ‘evil’, ‘promoting devil worship’.

They’ve never read one of my books, but are stonewalling on committing to a date based on their perception of what I write. It’s not a personal reflection on me. I know that. They’d be this way if George R.R. Martin wanted to spend two hours in their store.

I am who I am. I write what I feel compelled to write. I do not, nor does any author, need this one person’s approval to do what we do. They need to accept we have the right to do so, and our readers have the right to purchase our titles.

My plan? Kill them with kindness and professionalism. Be upbeat, positive. Know that the event will move forward, no matter what they personally feel about it. The manager can certainly work the schedule so they aren’t there during the event. But they can’t prevent it from happening.

As an author, we’re going to encounter this. There are those who won’t want to stock our books because of what they ‘believe’ is the nature of the story. Even if they’ve never read a single word of our stories. They won’t want to come to our events, have our books signed. They’d rather see them burned.

But this is America. We have the right to write the story we have inside us. Readers have the right to purchase the work and read/review it. I stand by my titles, my stories, my conduct. These are good books, worthy of purchase.

I’ll keep that in mind over allowing someone’s viewpoint (which they are allowed to have) dictate the Path that I walk.

BB

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Yes, I know it’s Friday. Hush. I got spoiled, so I’m passing it on. LOL.

Every author has, at one point, had the same daydream. The one where you’re doing a signing at a major bookstore. There you sit, at a small table, looking sharp and having a line of people chatting with you. Some have waited hours to meet you, out in the cold.

It’s a myth. It’s not going to happen for several years, possibly decades. Don’t ever kid yourself that it’s going to happen two weeks after you release your first book if you don’t already have a few important things.

1. Name recognition: are you a celebrity? Does your photo grace the cover of a tabloid? Are you a candidate for political office? Did you just win an Oscar, Emmy, or Grammy? Get out of prison after serving time for a crime you didn’t commit? Escape from a life of captivity? Is your book the basis for a major motion picture? Do you already have an established reader base of several thousand loyal fans who buy your book three seconds after it becomes available?

2. Connections: do you know the manager at the store? Are you with an agent? Did you hire a publicist? Is your publishing house really big and have a dedicated marketing department?

First time authors, new authors, people whose books are still being found by readers are NOT going to get that signing event. Why? Because bookstores want to host authors who are going to bring in customers. Ones that will browse, and buy, while they wait for you. The ones who will spend $100 between coffee and books so they have something to read or sip while they listen to you/wait their turn.

They want authors who will bring in readers. Period.

It’s not that they don’t encourage new authors. Heck, we’re the backbone of their business. Without new authors and new stories, there wouldn’t be new bookstores, just used ones. But, at the end of the day, they want to make money. And they’re not going to do that by hosting an author no one’s heard about.

Don’t think of it as a lost dream. See it as a goal. One that you’re going to have to work towards, spend hours cultivating a readership who will start laying the groundwork FOR you. Because they’re going to go into a store and ask about your titles. They’re going to create a buzz, get managers to start noticing they’re getting multiple requests for a single title/author.

It takes time. Perseverance. It will not happen two weeks, two months, possibly even two years after your first title released.

So stop acting like it will and do the work instead of expecting it to be handed to you. Because you haven’t earned that line yet.

BB

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